My favorite chapter in this book so far has to be Louie, His Cousin & His Other Cousin. In this chapter, we meet Louie and his family. We learn that Louie is friends with Esperanza’s brother and he is “the oldest in a family of little sisters.” We learn that he has two cousins, one named Marin, who sells Avon and lives with the family. His other cousin, we don’t learn his name but Esperanza says “we only saw him once, but it was important.”
Louie’s cousin drove up to Louie’s house in a yellow Cadillac. The kids all came out and were so amazed by all the features of the Cadillac, that they asked for rides. As they were driving around they start to hear police sirens that grew louder and louder as the second’s pass. Louie’s cousin lets out all the kids and proceeds to floor the car in the direction away from the sirens. With the police gaining on him Louie tries to make a left turn and crashes into a lamppost. The last we see of Louie’s cousin is when Cisneros writes “They put handcuffs on him and put him in the backseat of the cop car, and we all wave as they drove away.”
This story stands out to me the most because it’s so comical. It’s one of those stories that when you finish reading it, you say to yourself “I could see that happening.” I believe, that the writing is at its best when Louie’s cousin crashes the Cadillac into the lamppost. Cisneros writes “Marin screamed and we ran down the block to where the cop car’s siren spun a dizzy blue. The nose of that yellow Cadillac was all pleated like an alligator’s.”
One theme that is important in this story is, innocence. The children had no idea that the car was stolen. Even though, there were signs that led them to this even before the cops came closing in. They asked questions as to where he got the car to little or no avail from Louie’s cousin. Cisneros takes it upon herself to point out that they asked where he go the car twice in the same paragraph.
Story of a Local Role Model
When I was a kid and even a little past my teenage years I always looked up to my cousin, Paul. He and I were raised as brothers. We were always together growing up which was important to me since he is 2 years older than I am. He had a big shadow. I remember as a kid trying to get his approval on everything I did. “Hey Paul, do you think this is cool?”
We are both huge competitors and have always been involved in sports. When we were on our high schools wrestling team we would always try to motivate the other. I remember right after Thanksgiving dinner every year we would always run for miles to make sure we weren’t “overweight” for our next tournament.
Paul is a bit out there. He is very much an extrovert. I see it as a blessing and curse because he wound up getting us into bad situations when we were younger. On the other hand the stories we have now are great.
When Paul joined the Army at 17, I wanted to follow him. When he left for Iraq a few months before I would ship out. I was wishing I could go with him. I remember him telling me about his fears about what was soon to be his reality. A few months later by the grace of god we got to come home for Christmas. I remember stepping off the plane and receiving a handshake and hug from him and telling me that he was proud of me.
As we got older and started having kids. We vowed to have our kids grow up the same way we did. As brothers.